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Camel Regular (Unfiltered) pack

Camel is a brand of cigarettes that was introduced by American company R.J. Reynolds Tobacco in the summer of 1913. Most current Camel cigarettes contain a blend of Turkish and Virginia tobacco. Early in 2008 the blend was changed as was the package design.

Contents

History

In 1913, R.J. Reynolds developed a new innovation: the packaged cigarette.[1] Most tobacco users who smoked cigarettes preferred to roll their own, and there was thought to be no national market for pre-packaged cigarettes.[1] Reynolds worked to develop a flavor he thought would be more appealing than past products, creating the Camel cigarette, so named because it used Turkish paper,[1] in imitation of then-fashionable Egyptian cigarettes. Reynolds undercut competitors on the cost of the cigarettes, and within a year, he had sold 425 million packs of Camels.[1]

Camel cigarettes were originally blended to have a milder taste in contrast to brands that, at the time of its introduction, were considered much harsher. They were advance promoted, prior to official release, by a careful advertising campaign that included "teasers" which merely stated that "the Camels are coming"[1] (a play on the old Scottish folk song, "The Campbells Are Coming"). This marketing style was a prototype for attempts to sway public opinion that coincided with the United States' entry into World War I, and later World War II. Another promotion strategy was the use of a Circus camel, 'Old Joe', which was driven through town and used to distribute free cigarettes. The brand's catch-phrase slogan, used for decades, was "I'd walk a mile for a Camel!"

The most famous historical style of Camel cigarettes is the soft pack of the regular, unfiltered variety. Camel regulars achieved the zenith of their popularity through personalities such as news broadcaster Edward R. Murrow, who smoked up to four packs of Camel regulars per day, in effect using a Camel cigarette as his trademark.[2]

A 1915 Camels ad from the New York Times, offering a money-back guarantee and stating, "Premiums or coupons don't go with Camels, because the cost of the choice quality tobaccos makes it impossible for us to give them"

In late 1987, RJR created "Joe Camel" as the mascot for the brand. In 1991, the American Medical Association published a report stating that 5- and 6-year olds could more easily recognize Joe Camel than Mickey Mouse, Fred Flintstone, Bugs Bunny or even Barbie.[3] This led the association to ask RJR to terminate the Joe Camel campaign. RJR declined, but further appeals followed in 1993 and 1994. On July 10, 1997, the Joe Camel campaign was retired and replaced with a somewhat more adult campaign which appealed to the desires of twenty-somethings to meet—or be—beautiful and exotic women in 1930s attire and themes.

In Europe, Camel is also a brand of cigarette rolling papers and cigarette roll-your-own tobacco. It maintains a top 20 level brand of RYO tobacco and papers in Northern Europe with yearly expansion into Southern and Eastern Europe according to the European Subsidiary's annual report.

In 2005, Camel implemented new changes to the Turkish flavors by adding the name on the cigarette paper and changing the filter color and design. A blend called "Turkish Silver", a light version of both the Turkish Gold and Royal varieties, also became available that year. After burning, the text on the paper is often still visible on the ashes.

Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the city where R.J.R. was founded, was nicknamed "Camel City" at one time because of the brand's popularity. However, this name is passing out of usage among locals.

The Turkish tobacco that is used in Camel cigarettes has a much more distinctive odor when burned as compared to other cigarettes. It generally has a darker, browner smell to the smoke. Filtered Camel cigarettes sold outside the US by JT International do not contain Turkish Tobacco.

Marketing

Original Turkish Camel Natural Flavor The label reads "smoking kills".

The camel in the logo is of the dromedary variety. In languages other than English, a distinction is made between camels and dromedaries, so the name and image do not coincide. The name was chosen because in the early 20th century travels to far away places were in vogue and a camel supposedly symbolised that nicely.[citation needed]

Packaging in Art

The Camel pack is featured prominently in Tom Robbins 1980 novel Still Life with Woodpecker, billed as "a love story that happens inside a pack of cigarettes". The book's artwork is modeled after a pack of Camels, and the package artwork and history are discussed extensively in the book, and it is also mentioned that a pack of Camels is the best friend you have in prison.

The cartoonist Robert Crumb "quoted" the illustration on the back of the Camel pack in his signature panel for the 1968 LP, Cheap Thrills (Big Brother and the Holding Company, featuring Janis Joplin). Crumb caricatured himself in a turban, in front of the Camel pack's Arabian town.

Background

The signature scene on most Camel cigarette packs shows a single camel on desert land with pyramids and palm trees in the background. Contrary to what some say is "inconsistency", the background is referencing the brand Camel as opposed to the type of tobacco blended. The image seems to stem from an ancient Egyptian boardgame called Hyena. The hyena is simply replaced by the camel, while the background scene remains the same. On the back of the actual pack is a desert scene with bazaars and mosques. On European versions, the desert scene has been replaced by a health warning.

Graphic Design

Fred Otto Kleesattel was commissioned in 1913 to draw the original camel. "Fritz" was a highly sought after graphic designer living in Louisville, KY and was commissioned through his company Klee Ad Art to design the packaging for the camel cigarettes. Klee Ad Art was also integral in designs for Four Roses Distillery, Heaven Hill Distilleries, and many other now immediately recognizable brands. While enlisted in the U.S. Army Mr. Kleesattel worked as a camouflage artist disguising buildings, vehicles, and other sensitive targets to resemble the surrounding animals and plants. There are popular urban myths surrounding subliminal images being hidden within the drawing of the camel, such as a naked man standing within the camel's front left leg.

Package texts

The reverse sides of many packs or boxes of Camel cigarettes display variations of the following text:

Turkish tobacco is the world's smoothest, most aromatic leaf. Blending it with more robust domestic tobaccos is the secret to Camel's distinctive flavor and world-class smoothness.

In 2008, this was changed to:

A master-crafted blend of only the finest hand-picked Samsun & Izmir Turkish tobaccos with a robust domestic tobacco blend creates Camel's distinctive flavor and world-class smoothness.

The reverse side of unfiltered "soft pack" Camel cigarettes has displayed this text for many years, a theme also used by R. J. Reynolds in its advertising as early as 1915:

Don't look for premiums or coupons, as the cost of the tobaccos blended in Camel Cigarettes prohibits the use of them.

Or alternatively can be seen displaying the text (later removed from some packets with the introduction of health warning messages):

Camel, a premium blend of the finest quality tobaccos, provides genuine smoking pleasure.

The reverse side of unfiltered "soft pack" Camel cigarettes, produced by JT International reads:

CAMEL cigarettes contain a blend of choice Turkish and American tobaccos to bring you full smoking satisfaction with CAMEL quality.

Camel Wides, starting in 2008, began displaying this on the reverse side of the pack:

The larger gauge of a Camel Wides cigarette makes for the smoothest, most flavorful way to enjoy Camel's distinctive blend of the finest Turkish and Domestic tobaccos.

Camel Cash

Notwithstanding the message telling smokers not to look for premiums or coupons on Camels, the brand nonetheless featured such a promotion called "Camel Cash". Camel Cash, or "C-Note" (C-Note = 5 US cents), is a coupon stuck to the back of filtered varieties of Camel cigarettes. It was made to resemble currency and could be exchanged for items from Camel's Camel Cash catalogue. The artwork changed many times over the years, and in the past included the face of Joe Camel, the controversial cartoon camel, much in the same way as presidents are featured on American currency. Camel Cash redemption expired on March 31, 2007.

Joe Camel

Joe Camel was a controversial cartoon camel that primarily appeared in advertisements for Camel, but also appeared on "Camel Cash" and a number of origami Pop-up print ads. Joe Camel came under scrutiny as some considered use of the character to be advertising directed at children. Camel paid millions of dollars to settle lawsuits accusing them of using Joe Camel to market smoking to children.[4] His image was removed from Camel Cash in July, 1997, and discontinued in advertisements.

Motorsport

From 1972-1993, Camel was the title sponsor of the then-popular IMSA auto racing series, titled as Camel GT. From 1987 to 1991, Camel sponsored the Lotus Formula One team; and in the nineties, Camel sponsored the Benetton Formula One team and the Williams F1 team until 1993, Camel's last year as a sponsor in Formula One. In the early to mid 1990's, Camel sponsored the factory Honda team in the AMA Superbike series, as well as sponsoring the USHRA and AMA Supercross championships, resulting in the Camel Mud & Monster Series, and the Camel Supercross. In the 1997 Winston Cup season of Nascar, Camel sponsored Jimmy Spencer's #23 race car.

Varieties

A pack of Camel Signature Frost
A contemporary pack of Camel Lights from Ukraine
Camel pack from Iceland. The label reads "smoking kills"

Camel cigarettes come in the following varieties:

USA Varieties

Camel Filters
Camel Filters Wides
Camel Filters 99's
Camel Blue (Lights)
Camel Blue (Lights) Wides
Camel Blue (Lights) 99's
Camel White (Ultra Lights)
Camel White (Ultra Lights) 99's
Camel Menthol
Camel Menthol Wides
Camel Menthol Silver (Lights)
Camel Menthol Green (Lights)
Camel Crush
Camel Turkish Gold
Camel Turkish Royal
Camel Turkish Silver
Camel Turkish Jade
Camel No. 9
Camel No. 9 100's
Camel No. 9 Menthe
Camel No. 9 Menthe 100's
Camel Regular
Camel Special Lights
Camel Special Lights 100's
Camel Signature Infused
Camel Signature Robust
Camel Signature Frost
Camel Signature Mellow
Kamel Red
Kamel Red Lights
Kamel Red Menthol
Kamel Red Menthol Lights
Kamel Black (mint)

International Varieties

Camel Super Lights (South Africa)
Camel Nutty Menthol (Japan)

Additive-free varieties

Camel Natural Flavor 8
Camel Natural Flavor 6 *Lights*
Camel Natural Flavor 4 *Ultra Lights*

Menthol capsule varieties

These varieties contain a small bead in the filter filled with a menthol liquid. When crushed, the liquid is released into the filter giving the smoker an intense burst of menthol flavor.

Camel Crush - Camel light becomes a Camel menthol light
Camel Menthol- Adds an additional amount of menthol to the cigarette
Camel Menthol Silver- Adds an additional amount of menthol to the cigarette

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Burrough, Bryan (2003). Barbarians at the Gate. HarperCollins. pp. 40, 46. http://books.google.com/books?id=8rVQ6wKWdaYC. 
  2. ^ Hilliard, Robert L. and Keith, Michael C. (2005). The broadcast century and beyond. Elsevier. p. 137. ISBN 9780240805702. http://books.google.com/books?id=9YMV4BwRwTwC&pg=PA137&ei=dU80SuuYC6eQyATuv62sAQ. 
  3. ^ "Brand logo recognition by children aged 3 to 6 years". Fischer PM, Schwartz MP, Richards JW Jr, Goldstein AO, Rojas TH, JAMA, 1991 Dec 11;266(22):3145-8 PMID 1956101. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=1956101. Retrieved March 6, 2007. 
  4. ^ http://www.usatoday.com/news/smoke/smoke50.htm

External links








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